Throughout my life, people have constantly told me: “you must learn to let it go.” And what is “it” that they speak of?
When I was growing up, “it” was arguing and proving that my point was right. When I was a teenager, “it” was my obsession to fit in and feel included. When I was in college, “it” was the continual pressure of getting good grades and landing a reputable job after college. And now, “it” are the expectations others, society, even my own prior perceptions of how I “should” do something.
That brings me to monogamy. I was having a recent conversation about how it is difficult for me to love just one person. That I love everyone and for their own unique reasons. Some mentally challenge me, some are physically enticing and others are just a joy to be around. All-in-all, I have made a recent decision to not define my love and to just give it freely. While this does not mean that I want to sleep with any individual I encounter – it merely means that I am not going to cage myself in resentment, guilt and expectation. I love. I am loved. I communicate. I am honest. I am no longer going to be ashamed of intimate feelings I hold for others. Riddle me this: we live in a world where war is so readily accepted but the idea of having sexual encounters and being sexual beings is looked down upon (especially for women) when reproduction and procreation is everywhere in nature.
I decided to rid myself of guilt and the catalysts of what causes it. I would feel guilty if I was in a monogamous relationship to harbor feelings for someone else. I would feel guilty to alter how I acted to appease the comfort of the person I was with – that I was monitoring or being “different” toward people to overcompensate having feelings. I also realized that I can love people differently, diminish my desire to compare, and in so doing, the pressure I put on myself slowly slipped away. From this small act, everyone became less of a threat. I started noticing the strengths in people, rather than their weaknesses (their weaknesses I could use against them if I felt insecure). I started raising the people around me up and picking up on their beauty instead of judging and critiquing them. I used to always live in fear that my significant other was checking out other people, or that they would cheat on me, or that they would feel trapped because those were temptations and feelings I experienced. And there is nothing wrong with those feelings, until somewhere along the way, we decided it was and built constructs of how monogamy creates healthy relationships, when in my experience, it creates a breeding ground of expectation, disappointment and an agreement to a joint identity.
I have discovered for myself:
1. I do not want or need someone else to define who I am, nor validate my existence.
2. I am not to be possessed and my goal is not to possess anyone.
3. I had the tendency to collect people; constantly compartmentalizing and never wanting my groups to collide because I wanted the satisfaction of “playing God” when I introduced people so that I could get recognition. Now, when groups of mine meet, I revel in the fact that they might recognize the beauty in each other instead of the hope that I get credit.
4. If something went wrong, I never felt strong enough to face the issue alone.
5. People want to be loved, want to give love, and want to share love. It’s the barriers of monogamy, prejudice, putting people in boxes, and labeling that causes anxiety, taboo topics, and this underground issue of sexual deviancy.
Break free, unpack all the mental boxes and let everyone mingle. I have learned to let “it” go. And “it” is the need to define and the urge to possess things, people and this fear of how people will perceive the free, honest me.